February 06, 2017

Splashing out at Puttin’ On The Ritz

David Ellis

WHAT do you do when it's your first Christmas Day on duty as Concierge at London's very swanky The Ritz Hotel, and a V-VIP Guest tells you he has a longing for the salty waters of famed Brighton Beach, but that being mid-winter it's too cold – and can you be a good chap and fetch a few pails of the stuff for him to plunge into in his room's bathtub?

In the case of Michael De Cozar you, of course, say "Yes, Sir, of course."

Now Chief Concierge and in his 44th year at The Ritz, Michael still remembers it like yesterday. "One of our porters named Freddie had brought his little Morris Minor motor-car to work that day, so we loaded it up with 25-litre pails and sent him off on the 200km round-trip down to Brighton.

"It took him two-and-three-quarter hours in each direction, and what anyone on the beach on Christmas Day and the middle of winter must have thought at the sight of Freddie in his Ritz uniform, shoes and socks off, pants rolled up and trudging across the pebbles of Brighton fetching pails of seawater, is anyone's guess!

"And I still wonder to this day whether our guest added hot water – or did he just slide into his Brighton seawater bath cold after we'd filled it up for him?

"Whatever, he did thank us most effusively later, telling us how wonderful it had made his Christmas Day."

Anyone beat that for Putting On The Ritz?


[] MICHAEL De Cozar… now Chief Concierge at London's very swanky The Ritz Hotel, and good reason to remember his very first Christmas Day on duty at the hotel's Concierge Desk. (The Ritz Hotel)

[] TAKING the plunge – a guest at London's The Ritz Hotel asked for his bathtub to be filled with Brighton sea water, and the hotel of course obliged –  despite the need for a 200km, six-hour car trip. (The Ritz Hotel)

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